Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

As crazy as this sounds... I've got no problems with being in an "ecosystem" as long as it can be run on any device. See Kindle for a perfect example -- I have it on my iPhone, iPad, desktop and my PaperWhite. Perfect.

Or Netflix: runs on everything. But if your "ecosystem" is limited to particular devices (see: iMessage, or the OP) then it may as well not exist as far as I'm concerned.

Hell, even Apple knew iTunes needed to run on Windows to matter. Eventually, anyway.

The problem with "ecosystems" is that they're usually trojan horses for vendor lock-in. It's fine to provide a comprehensive user-space, but when you start preventing people from running other stuff in their devices for dubious reasons, that's when you cross the line.

This can be done bluntly (via privileges) or sneakily (by making sure compatibility is not easy). But yeah usually ecosystems => lock-in and walled gardens.

Yeah, Amazon is actually the worst at this because of their e-book DRM. At least iTunes eventually removed DRM so you could move to Amazon MP3 or Google Play.

>>>Yeah, Amazon is actually the worst at this because of their e-book DRM.

iBookstore, Nookbook store, and Kobo -- the other three big players also have eBook DRM (via Adobe). Kindle is no "worse" than them.

You're correct, I intended to refer to Amazon's proprietary format instead of the ePub standard.

> At least iTunes eventually removed DRM

Job's anti-DRM letter was published 8 months before the public beta of Amazon MP3 in September 2007. The first DRM free music from EMI was available on iTunes in May 2007. Google Play Music opened in 2011, two years after iTunes music was fully DRM free in the US.

"Eventually" is a bit harsh, it isn't a given that Amazon MP3 and Google Play Music would be DRM free if it wasn't for Apple pushing for it back at the start of 2007.

It's not good to attribute all that credit to iTunes. Amazon and Google may have been able to negotiate other terms. Because unlike Apple, neither Amazon or Google had a separate MP3 player and thus no incentive to enforce DRM.

Seems that every thread has someone claim that if it wasn't for Apple, X would never exist and I'm frankly tired of it.

I think it's fine, but I also think some middleground has to be taken so that we aren't slowly tied into a "ecosystem."

The example I like is Netflix on Linux. Now, boredom will find a way - and I use Wine and FireFox - but, does it really have to be like that?

I understand Linux is (without looking it up) something like 1% of the desktop market. But really... why should that matter? I know, business..but it's a consumer product.

When I'm trying to look through Netflix's website to see what's supported, all I can find is them trying to sell me proprietary devices. I don't mind so much, because I still like Netflix.

It comes down to cost.

It's cheaper for Netflix to have you use their box than it is for them to develop & support a Linux client for the relatively small user base.

Licensing restrictions and other politics likely prevent them from accepting open source clients, even if they wanted to.

GNU/Linux users are not in their business interests. And you can't fix that problem because the software is proprietary. The only acceptable option is to stop using Netflix.

Okay - I understand. And use what, though? Pirate Bay? Maybe launch a startup that has only public-domain videos to start?

There has to be a good solution.

> And use what, though? Pirate Bay?

I know of no place to legally purchase DRM free content that you would find on Netflix. It's a sorry state to be in.

> Maybe launch a startup that has only public-domain videos to start?

See: http://gondwanaland.com/mlog/2013/05/03/a-kill-hollyweb-plan...

Feel free to take the idea and run with it.

> There has to be a good solution.

I think you or I or someone else needs to make the solution. Though the problem is not simply technical. It's social and political, too.

I agree with you. I'd love to be a part of a solution, but it would take some serious commitment and big-backing. At least, as you say, on a social level - through HN and similar communities.

Public domain does not exist anymore.

There is a good solution, and it'll solve several other problems (some way more important than copyrights). I just don't know how to implement it - does anybody have any idea that does not resemble Ucrania?

I'm sorry, probably my fault, but I don't follow?

Public domain does exist: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_in_the_public_dom...

Or do you mean something else?

If you look closer at that list, the most recent film to enter the public domain was produced in 1968. The last time a film entered the public domain (known at least) was in 1991. And the overwhelming reason any work actually entered the public domain was that they failed to renew the copyright (which implies they could still not be in the public domain if the creators were more on top of their copyright situation).

I think what the GP meant with "public domain does not exist anymore" is that it is effectively is no longer relevant.

He means no more works will ever be added to the public domain. He's right as far as I can tell.

It's a sad day when even on Hacker News, a product that doesn't run on Linux is referred to as "runs on everything".

If it doesn't run on Ubuntu and RedHat, it doesn't run on everything.

I run Ubuntu entirely on my laptop... and it doesn't bother me that I'm missing it on that device, I have so many others that theres little utility lost.

That said, I see your point; what I'm worried about is the "HTML5 DRM" specification and the binaries for them not being released on Linux. Then we're entirely screwed, with no work-arounds.

> As crazy as this sounds... I've got no problems with being in an "ecosystem" as long as it can be run on any device. See Kindle for a perfect example -- I have it on my iPhone, iPad, desktop and my PaperWhite. Perfect.

That's how I felt, until it wasn't perfect. I have a lot of DRM free tech books from publishers like O'Reilly. I'd like to be able to read them on my Kindle and sync my notes with the Kindle desktop app or "Cloud Reader". Doesn't work. Notes and highlights only sync between desktop apps and the Kindle e-ink device when you're reading Kindle books bought from Amazon.

That's the problem with a closed ecosystem. No matter how hard they try, the creator of the ecosystem isn't going to be able to foresee/support every use case.

The bigger problem is that Netflix doesn't have much of a selection, so you either have a service that isn't useful or you have to use multiple services, with multiple logins, multiple clients, multiple ecosystems, which is a bad situation. The fact that some of those services have decent dvice support isn't a consolation.

Applications are open for YC Summer 2018

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact